Singer Taylor Swift has ignited a feud with Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun, who now owns the rights to her entire music catalogue through her last album, “Reputation.”
Scooter has acquired Taylor’s old record label Big Machine Records for $300 million.
On Sunday, Swift wrote on Tumblr, “I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world. All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years.”
Along with her bullying claims, Taylor also mentioned her infamous feud with Kim Kardashian, who posted Snapchat videos of Taylor’s conversation with Kanye West about his controversial single “Famous.” She said, “Like when Kim Kardashian orchestrated an illegally recorded snippet of a phone call to be leaked and then Scooter got his two clients together to bully me online about it. (See photo) Or when his client, Kanye West, organized a revenge porn music video which strips my body naked. Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it.”
“For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work. Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in,” Swift stressed. “I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums.”
Calling it her “worst case scenario,” Taylor argued, “When I left my masters in Scott’s hands, I made peace with the fact that eventually he would sell them. Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter. Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words ‘Scooter Braun’ escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever.”
Last year, Swift signed a new record deal with Republic Records, which gave her ownership of her masters for her future albums. She praised her new label, saying, “Thankfully, I am now signed to a label that believes I should own anything I create. Thankfully, I left my past in Scott’s hands and not my future. And hopefully, young artists or kids with musical dreams will read this and learn about how to better protect themselves in a negotiation. You deserve to own the art you make.”
Taylor ended her note by saying she was “sad and grossed out” by Braun’s acquisition.
While Braun has not yet commented directly on Swift’s post, sources told “Extra” that he is hurt and shocked that she put out these statements and it has affected his family. According to the insiders, he wants to discuss the matter with Taylor privately over the phone.
Big Machine Records founder Scott Borchetta responded to Swift’s allegations in an open letter “to set some things straight.”
On the company website, Borchetta argued that he personally contacted Taylor to make her aware of the acquisition. He said, “I personally texted Taylor at 9:06pm, Saturday, June 29th to inform her prior to the story breaking on the morning of Sunday, June 30th so she could hear it directly from me… I guess it’s possible that she might not have seen my text. But, I truly doubt that she “woke up to the news when everyone else did”.
Along with a screenshot of what he claims is a portion of the new contract, Borchetta also argued that Swift “had every chance in the world to own not just her master recordings, but every video, photograph, everything associated to her career. She chose to leave.”
Swift's lawyer Donald Passman refuted Borchetta's claims, saying, "Scott Borchetta never gave Taylor Swift an opportunity to purchase her masters, or the label, outright with a check in the way he is now apparently doing for others.”
Scott also acknowledged the drama between Taylor and Scooter, saying that he “never experienced” Taylor getting emotional whenever Scooter’s name was brought up. Showing his support for Scooter, he added, “Was I aware of some prior issues between Taylor and Justin Bieber? Yes. But there were also times where Taylor knew that I was close to Scooter and that Scooter was a very good source of information for upcoming album releases, tours, etc, and I’d reach out to him for information on our behalf. Scooter was never anything but positive about Taylor. He called me directly about Manchester to see if Taylor would participate (she declined)… Scooter has always been and will continue to be a supporter and honest custodian for Taylor and her music.”
After Swift’s post made headlines, Bieber came to Braun’s defense, writing in part, “Scooter has had your back since the days you graciously let me open up for you.! As the years have passed we haven’t crossed paths and gotten to communicate our differences, hurts or frustrations. So for you to take it to social media and get people to hate on scooter isn’t fair.”
“What were you trying to accomplish by posting that blog? seems to me like it was to get sympathy u also knew that in posting that your fans would go and bully scooter,” Bieber went on. “Anyway, One thing i know is both scooter and i love you. I feel like the only way to resolve conflict is through communication.”
Taylor’s friend Cara Delevingne took to social media to call out Bieber for his post. She wrote, “@haileybieber @justinbieber you must be bored. I wish you spent less time sticking up for men and more time trying to understand women and respecting their valid reactions. As a married man, you should be lifting women up instead of tearing them down because you are threatened. I am not sure you actually understand what an apology is. This issue that @taylorswift is talking out is about far more than a picture, and you know that. As you said, you haven’t spoken to her in years which means you definitely don’t understand the situation. I do. Take a step back and try and learn from this. We should all be on the same team. End of story.”
Demi Lovato, who recently signed with Braun, also shared her two cents on her Instagram Story. She pointed out, “I have dealt with bad people in this industry, and Scooter is not one of them. He’s a good man. Personally, I’m grateful he came into my life when he did. Please stop ‘dragging’ people or bullying them. There’s enough hate in this world as it is. Y’all can come after me all you want, but I’m always gonna stay loyal to my team. I value loyalty more than most people in this world, and if my name is gonna be brought into conversations, I’m gonna stand up for myself and the ones on my team.”
Lovato also responded to Todrick Hall’s claims that Braun is “evil, evil, evil” and homophobic, writing, “Hey boo, idk you or anything and this isn’t hate, but making claims that someone is homophobic is really serious. Please don’t spread information that isn’t true because I can guarantee you Scooter isn’t.”
Todrick is one of Taylor’s close friends, even starring in her recent music video “You Need to Calm Down.”
Braun’s wife Yael Cohen has also come to his defense and called out Taylor. On Instagram, she wrote, “Girl, who are you to talk about bullying? The world has watched you collect and drop friend like wilted flowers. My husband is anything but a bully, he’s spent his life standing up for people and causes he believes in,” Yael wrote. “Beyond that, it’s easy to see that the point of putting this out was to get to bully him. You are supposed to be a role model, but continue to model bullying.”
“What you haven’t seen is what happens behind closed doors, when he has supported and stood up for you,” Yael elaborated. “When he has challenged his clients to be kind or be quiet,” she said in her post. “When he has reached an olive branch out to you on numerous occasions. Scott (Scooter) was excited to work and build with you. How embarrassing this temper tantrum is because you didn’t get your own way. He believes in and supports you, I sincerely hope you can learn to love and believe in yourself the way my husband does.”
It has been reported that Miley Cyrus, Adele, Selena Gomez and Rihanna have unfollowed Braun.